Industrial Internet Now

Industrial internet applications: cases and experiences

Taneli Tikka, serial entrepreneur and Head of Industrial Internet start up at Tieto Corporation is involved in several projects within tech and the Internet of Things. As more and more companies are interested in implementing Industrial Internet applications, Tikka is one of the few experts that can cite successful cases and share his experiences on working and experimenting with industrial internet applications.

According to Tikka, corporations are divided into three categories in regards of interest, implementation and use of industrial internet. Category number one are the pioneers, innovators and early adapters that have been developing Industrial Internet applications for the past ten years or so. Category two is in the middle of the three categories in regards of level of implementation, having started trials and testing of said applications within the span of three years or so. Group three on the other hand has not begun any kind of implementation.

“Fortunately, I am happy to say that the least amount of bigger Nordic corporations are in category three, whereas category two holds the large majority,” Tikka said.

Industrial internet can bring significant change to the corporate culture and business model. If a corporation decides to utilize and benefit from industrial internet, they have to learn how to handle and act in a more diverse business environment that includes employees with multiple roles. From developers to electronics experts amongst other types of people in the mix. These employees have not normally been part of the staff on the factory floor. In order to successfully implement Industrial Internet to the company’s business model, cooperation between all of these is essential. Especially when designing and implementing the user experience (UX):

“Creating an optimal UX needs insights gathered from the people working on the frontlines, so to speak. They especially have to take part in improving the UX more than ever before. Because once these systems become standardized; technically advanced, user-friendly and intelligent systems will be superior. When the apex of productivity has been reached, the UX’s importance grows more significant,” Tikka added.

Industrial Internet applications should create added value

Tikka pointed out that a lot of applications so far have been safety-related, yet some applications might not be as smart as they should, considering the operational context, such as smart-clothing on oilrigs. If trackers are installed on overalls and an emergency happens in the middle of the night, then the most natural smart device fulfilling the purpose would instead be a wristband. However, there are excellent cases as well, the first is from a major welding manufacturer:

“When the apex of productivity has been reached, the UX’s importance grows more significant.”

“The solution is a background system linked with the user interface, so when the welder arrives to work and logs into the system, the machine and the database authenticates him and provides the welder with all the information needed. By all information I mean everything: when was the machine last used, by whom, for how long, which core wire was used, from which manufacturer and on top of all from which mine the material of the core wire was mined from.”

All of the data is useful in a situation where a client has welded 200 nautical miles of gas pipes and they suddenly receive information from the core wire manufacturer that one of the batches of core wire delivered and used is faulty. This would in a normal case mean that the client would have to lift and inspect every piece of pipe welded to find the faulty product. With the system, the piece would be immediately identified based on the data provided by the database.

Uniqueness through strategic self-awareness

The second case mentioned by Tikka is from a large American automotive company:

“The company provides delivery cars for a client and uses an analytical component as a real-time monitoring system for the cars’ technical functions. One of the monitored functions is the voltmeter and fluctuation of the car battery. By observing irregularities in the car battery, the automotive company can identify if any malfunctions are about to happen and if the car is about to lose power. Because of the data the automotive company has, they can give extraordinary service in the form of pre-emptive field-repairs,” Tikka noted.

Simply put, the automotive company knows the client’s delivery routes and they can access the contact details of the drivers. This means that they can meet the driver at an agreed location to repair the vehicle and thus make it possible for the driver to continue their route. In this case the analytical component provides with added value in a situation where the client would not have had a clue that there was a problem. According to Tikka, this is the most salient part of industrial internet right now:

“Finding unique added value through data and analytics is the hottest thing in Industrial Internet right now. I can’t come up with a single good case in Industrial Internet that has not used analytics in any single way.”

For an organization to succeed with the help of industrial internet, it needs to know its own strategy, goals and think how these goals could be achieved. That is the situation and the strategic opportunity where a possible industrial internet product could be implemented. In most corporations, the problem is usually the lack of knowledge and competence. Tikka’s key advice would be to do the background work in one’s own calm pace while trying to figure out any possible applications:

“When the ground work has been done I strongly encourage to begin testing the applications! As long as the tests are not for one single application, but multiple and different types of applications with support of multiple hypotheses. Industrial Internet is such a new thing that there is not really “a general solution” to anything. That is why we need more of an iterative approach. A fast-cycled trial and error process. Businesses need more and more courage in looking for new solutions,” Tikka concludes.

Taneli Tikka is the Head of Industrial Internet start up at Tieto Corporation

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Interview w/ Taneli Tikka

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World’s first “smart” port brings industrial internet to the loading docks

Interested in real-time data of precise ship arrival time and the fastest land travel routes? Good. In Germany, dockworkers will soon be tapping into a mobile app to see when ships will arrive. “As giant container ships pull into the Port of Hamburg, Germany, in the coming years, an array of new technologies will define the future of the $4 trillion global shipping industry,” states in the article published in Rewrite. The new logistics platform of Hamburg Porth Authority is called a smartPort. Is the application going to change the way we handle ships and containers? Explore the core elements of the smartPort Initiative at:

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Increasing data enables new cooperation between industries

Optimization, automation and, thus, enhanced productivity are some of the best features of the recent technological progress. However, the benefits of the industrial internet are even more extensive as previously thought. Streamlining the current processes generally improves competitiveness, but the real revolution is already making its way. In the future, different kinds of services will be at the heart of the industrial internet. Using data in entirely new ways opens up possibilities for new business models, writes Matti Kemppainen, Director, Research and Innovation at Konecranes.

Until recently, it was widely thought that one of the biggest gains of the industrial internet would be the possibility to improve and develop maintenance services by making them more anticipatory, proactive and automatic. However, the real potential of the technological change is being revealed step by step, and, finally, the focus has turned to customers. Many actors in the field are now asking how the ever increasing amount of data could really benefit clients. In other words, how to convert the state-of-the-art knowledge and analytics into profitable business?

Principally, the mindset and approach should be broad enough. Overall, the combination of industry and data analytics helps in seeing the different pieces of the production as a unity. When the production of one part is lagging behind, an automatized analysis can immediately tell how this will affect the whole process. In other words, the industrial internet enables companies to react earlier and manage processes in an integrated way.

For example, in forestry there are numerous ways to improve productivity and even create new business by producing more and more data. The key is to extend the scope of analysis: certainly, the data coming from forestry equipment is important for ensuring smooth, reliable and proactive maintenance. Nonetheless, the analytical system should include larger processes as well.

In practice, one should constantly think about how the data would best serve the contractor operating in the field. What kind of information do we need when working in the forest? Are we lacking something crucial? What kind of bottlenecks are there in production and could these be overcome by improved scheduling, for instance? Generally, the industrial internet enables actors to react earlier and manage processes in an integrated way. In a way, the only limit is the imagination – or the lack of innovative partnerships, as addressed below.

Cooperation creates new business

To make the most of the ongoing industrial revolution, even the most leading companies need to find new partners. The reason is clear, since the same data can be insignificant for one and valuable for another. In other words, the data serves as a way of making new co-operation relationships, and thus, the ever increasing amount of data should be seen as fruitful ground for cooperation and new business models.

What kind of alliances will be formed in the future? Let us take the forestry as an imaginary example once again. Clearly, a forestry machine could easily collect data from soil. Soil tests and analytics could be quite far away from the ordinary forester’s job description, but the collected information could be valuable for some other actor. These partnerships create completely new possibilities and business models, enabled by the industrial internet.

“The same piece of information can be worthless for one company, but valuable for others, and that is how sharing data can lead to the creation of mutually beneficial new businesses.”

At the moment there are only a few examples of integrated data services, because industries and products are so diverse. Clearly, this development makes room for more open interfaces and standards of the industrial internet. In any case, some intelligent techniques will emerge, and at some point there will certainly be a leading technical solution.

Open source vs. closed systems

In addition to the topics discussed above, there is an interesting development going on concerning the openness of the data. Should industrial companies provide their data as openly as possible? There is no consensual point of view regarding whether or not companies should put a price tag on their data. However, an open access is worth considering, also in terms of business. As said above, the same piece of information can be worthless for one company, but valuable for others, and that is how sharing data can lead to the creation of mutually beneficial new businesses. Data could, of course, be partly open as well. For example, if customers were able to troubleshoot on their own via some intelligent mechanism, it would greatly streamline the maintenance services, since the spare part would be sent to the customer automatically. This would increase productivity and also make small contracts more profitable.

Needless to say, sharing information and data for free is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some companies might be reluctant to provide complimentary information if there is no immediate benefit to be gained. Nonetheless, there is a growing need to standardize the information flow, since both factories and customers are asking for more and more information for their own use.

In the era of the industrial internet, making use of the data is rather simple. For example, in case of an error, one must first define the situation and then build an algorithm that finds the repetitive sequence. Due to the massive data flow there is a vast technological memory that helps solving unexpected problems. This saves lots of time and helps to forecast more serious problems: ten years ago there simply was not enough data to be analyzed, and the present condition of the device was the only reference.

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Matti Kemppainen
Director of Research and Innovation at Konecranes

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How to hack maintenance services

What happens when you let hackers dig deeper into integrating industrial internet infrastructure and cranes? The aim of Konecranes’ second hackathon is to come up with a burst of fresh digital ideas on how to streamline the maintenance processes of cranes.

On Friday, September 4, 38 coders and designers will gather for the second IndustryHack hackathon hosted by Konecranes in Hyvinkää, Finland.

Over the weekend, the hackers will have the challenge of finding new digital ways of performing and enhancing maintenance services. The hack focuses on maintenance, wow impact in customer touch points, human and machine interaction, data capture via voice or wearables as well as history data, APIs and real-time sensor data.

“One of the key questions is how to equip our maintenance service guys with the right information so that they can do their jobs more quickly and easily and ensure that they have the right information tools at hand when they visit the customer,” says Marko Äkräs, Head of Customer Experience and Service Offering at Konecranes.

Streamlining maintenance processes

There are several reasons why Konecranes chose maintenance as the theme for their second industry hack. Firstly, the ageing workforce has become a widespread phenomenon, posing new challenges across the service and maintenance industry. “It is difficult to attract younger people to work with cranes and machine tools. Therefore we need to find new and efficient ways of working with the cranes and with service assets that help us attract younger people,” Äkräs explains.

“Secondly, we want to explore new ways of integrating the Industrial Internet infrastructure,” he continues, referring to Konecranes’ aim to maximize its utilization of the information generated by industrial internet infrastructure and the cranes and sensors that are connected to it.

“We found 17 new teams that we can use or we can collaborate with in our future projects and we employed one of the hackers”

Building on previous success

Hack The Maintenance builds on the success of the previous hackathon held by Konecranes in February. The earlier event was the first ever in a series of IndustryHack hackathons held in Finland. The aim of the event series is to develop new applications and services for the Internet of Things in cooperation with industrial companies.

Lasting 48 hours, the February event revolved around creating new applications and services around the industrial internet in material handling. Lasse Eriksson, Program Manager at Konecranes, was surprised by the quality and maturity of the concepts created by the hackers. “We found 17 new teams that we can use or we can collaborate with in our future projects and we employed one of the hackers,” he says.

Äkräs has high expectations for the upcoming weekend. He explains that the teams won’t only be provided with information generated from the cranes, but with additional resources that could improve maintenance service visits. For example, the hackers will have access to real-time maintenance operations data from Konecranes’ Siebel system for, remote monitoring usage and safety data from equipment in the field through the Konecranes TRUCONNECT service, as well as PLC, or programmable logic that provides all possible data from the crane.

After two days and two energy drink-fueled nights, the teams will present their innovations for judging on Sunday, September 6. You can follow the hackathon here:

Industrial Internet Now

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Demand for mass-produced, highly personalized products force technologies to develop explosively fast

In smart manufacturing, human beings, machines and resources communicate among each other in very natural ways. Convergence of mechanical, electronic and information technologies is needed when creating a new form of production, smart manufacturing, Industry 4.0. ”Production will, in fact, continue to become ever more interconnected, until each component is interconnected with all others, generating the Industrial Internet of Things. Logistics will need to be first to adapt. Increased flexibility goes hand in hand with the need to reduce stock levels, which many companies have already embraced as part of lean manufacturing initiatives.” This is how Luigi De Bernardini puts it in Automation World article. Read his full story about the integration of IIoT at:

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Via Automation World

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